By Walton Golightly
The first serious vow Sharon Douglas probably ever made – and kept – was to escape her strict Seventh Day Adventist upbringing. But in marrying Mike Fuller, a young minister with the same Seventh Day Adventist church, she jumped from the frying pan into the fire.
Life as a minister’s wife was just as restrictive, and soon Sharon was involved in intense affairs, once with a member of her husband’s congregation in North Carolina. As a result the Fullers – and their two children – had to move halfway across the US to Colorado. But Sharon’s affairs continued.
Eventually she divorced Fuller – and married Dr Perry Nelson, an optometrist in Rocky Ford, Colorado. The marriage produced two more children, but Sharon still couldn’t control her ‘urges’ and the affairs began again.
Then she met Gary Adams. A journalist later described him as a character ‘straight out of the less civilised communities of the great Rocky Mountains’. Yet it seemed as if Sharon really loved him. Only problem was, Gary couldn’t provide Sharon with the lifestyle she wanted. He had to settle for being just a lover.
Perry, meanwhile, had grown fed up with Sharon’s cheating. But when he began talking about divorce, Sharon convinced Gary to kill him. That way, she’d keep the kids and the money and they could be together.
Although the rumour mill said otherwise, police determined Nelson had died an accidental death. Sharon got to keep the kids and the money. Gary, however, got nothing except the ‘privilege’ of being with Sharon whenever she called.
A short while later, Sharon met and married fire fighter Glen Harrelson. In addition to the financial security he offered Sharon, he also carried a hefty life insurance policy. When this marriage began to sour, just as the others had, Sharon called for her ‘mountain-man’ to once again ‘rescue’ her.
This time things didn’t go according to plan. What was supposed to look like an accidental death was rightfully declared a homicide. Sharon knew she was in trouble. She tried to put all of the blame on Gary, but the police didn’t buy it. Sharon and Gary were both arrested and charged with murder.
Since she was born in 1945 and won’t be eligible for parole until 2029, it’s a pretty safe bet Sharon Nelson will never get out of prison. She’s currently incarcerated at the La Vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo, Colorado.
Gary Adams is presently housed at Colorado’s Limon Correctional Facility. He won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 87.
The Crimes of Sharon Douglas Fuller Nelson Harrelson
By Walton Golightly